News

Wheelhouse Weekly – February 02, 2006

February 2nd 2006

– Bridging the Information Gap With E-News You Can Use –

Volume 10 . . . . . Number 5 . . . . February 2, 2006

STORIES COVERED

    Also

REMINDERS

T-AGS Oceanographic Survey Ships Info

Required Coursework

Security Clearances

MSC Physicals

MM&P Health & Benefit Plan News

Notice to Members who are taking Vioxx

NMHC Mail-Order Prescriptions Website Updated & Improved

WWII USCG Veterans Outreach

Company Gives Bucks Back for buying Safe Shoes

Website Offers Union-Made Goods and Services

 

 




Did you miss a week? Back editions of the Wheelhouse Weekly are available in the section.





 

MM&P & MEBA OFFICIALS MEET TO DISCUSS COOPERATION AGREEMENT

MM&P President Tim Brown and Vice President Bob Groh, MEBA President Ron Davis, and Atlantic Coast Vice President Don Keefe met recently at MEBA Headquarters to discuss a more cooperative relationship between the organizations. At the meeting, the unions discussed cost sharing items such as combining legislative resources of the American Maritime Congress and MM&P’s Maritime Institute for Research and Industrial Development. In addition, they discussed sharing of union halls in ports that would be mutually beneficial to both organizations.

Both unions agreed to continue discussions of mutual co-operation and to even explore the possibility of merging sometime in the future subject to the will of their respective memberships.

This same article will appear in tomorrow’s MEBA Telex Times.




 

MM&P’S UNITED INLAND MEMBERSHIP GROUP RELOCATES TO EDMONDS

Effective February 1, the MM&P’s United Inland Membership Group has relocated to new offices located in Edmonds, Washington. The new address is 144 Railroad Avenue, Suite 205, Edmonds, WA 98020. The new phone lines will be installed on Friday, Feb.3. The new phone number is 425-775-1403. The new fax number is 425-775-1418.


ATTENTION ALL OFFSHORE MEMBERS/APPLICANTS

The Seattle Hiring Hall and Offshore Division offices are being temporarily relocated. Effective Monday, February 6, and until further notice, the new location will be at the Pacific Maritime Institute Building on 1729 Alaskan Way S., Seattle, WA 98134.


ATTENTION MM&P HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN PARTICIPANTS

At the Trustee meetings of February 1-2, the Board moved to add the following benefit to the Health & Benefit Plan:
Effective February 1, the Plan will cover all forms of contraception including oral contraceptives, tubal ligations, vasectomies, etc. for members and spouses only. Dependent children will not be eligible for contraceptive coverage. The sole exception for dependent coverage would be oral contraceptives only with physician letters of medical necessity approved by the Plan Office.


VETERAN HAWAIIAN HARBOR PILOT DIES IN ON-THE-JOB ACCIDENT

Hawaiian harbor pilots and the US maritime community lost a well-known member on Sunday night in an on-the-job accident. From all accounts, Capt. David Lyman was a larger-than-life waterfront character, with his dry wit, handlebar moustache and lauhala hat. For 30 years, he had mastered extremely challenging sea conditions. Then on Jan.29th, something went terribly wrong.

Capt. Norman Piianaia, Master of the MM&P-contracted SS MATSONIA, sent the following dispatch: “Sad, sad news … Brother Dave passed away Sunday afternoon on Kauai. He had just finished doing a job on one of the passenger ships, the ISLAND PRINCESS, when he somehow fell in the transition from the ship to the pilot boat. The pilot boat operator got him aboard and took him ashore where he was taken to Wilcox Hospital on Kauai where he died from his injuries. We have all lost a really good friend.”

On learning of Capt. Lyman’s passing, MM&P International President Capt. Tim Brown said, “On behalf of the officers, staff and membership of the Masters, Mates and Pilots, we are deeply saddened to learn of Capt. Lyman’s passing last Sunday. Capt. Lyman loved the sea, loved piloting, and loved his shipmates and marine colleagues. He will be missed by all who were blessed in knowing him. God’s Speed!!”

Tom Heberle, president of Hawaii Pilots Association (HPA), issued the following statement regarding the death of the veteran pilot: “Capt. Dave Lyman was well known not only throughout all Hawaii but well across the United States and throughout the international seafaring world. We are deeply saddened by the loss of our colleague in the course of duty on January 29. Pilots are critical to the safety and management of traffic throughout our harbor systems; and we will miss Dave’s years of experience and expertise.”

Herberle added that, “We are overwhelmed with calls and emails from all across the US and Hawaii. Everyone wants to know when and where services will be held.” Church services for Capt. Layman will be held on Feb.6 at 1700 hrs at the Central Union Church. His ashes will be scattered in Honolulu Harbor on Feb.11 as the Hawaiian maritime community comes together in a multi-vessel procession that leaves Pier 19 at 1000 hrs. Later that day, a “Block Party” will be held at Murphy’s in Capt. Lyman’s honor. For further details, contact Fay Leong at the pilot office at 808-532-7233 or e-mail officeadmin@hawaiipilots.net.


INCREASED COSTS RESULT IN DECLINE IN MATSON PROFITS

MM&P-contracted Matson Navigation has reported a 10 percent decline in fourth quarter profits due to higher fuel costs and startup expenses related to a new China service. For the three months ended Dec.31 operating profits were $22.8 million. This compares with the $25.3 million seen in the corresponding period in 2004.

Matson, a subsidiary of Alexander & Baldwin, said revenue in the fourth quarter declined by 3 percent to $223.6 million. It said a significant portion of the decrease is due to comparing a 13-week accounting period in 2005 with 14 weeks in the previous year. Also contributing to the decline were lower car volumes and rates, offset by higher fuel surcharges, and improved yields and mix for containerized freight. Total Hawaii container volume was 3 percent lower than the fourth quarter of 2004, reflecting primarily the shorter accounting period, Matson said.

Car volumes were 20 percent lower. Car shipments in the fourth quarter of 2004 were unusually high due to large shipments related to the renewal of rental car fleets. For the full year Matson’s revenues rose by 3 percent to $878.3 million, while operating profits for 2005 increased by 18 percent to $128 million. Matson attributed the improvements to increases in the fuel surcharge, higher Hawaii freight volumes and improved freight yields and mix.


UPDATED POLICY ON USCG ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION REGULATIONS

The US Coast Guard Port State Control Officers (PSCO) and marine inspectors will use updated policy guidance to assist with the enforcement of Annex I to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL 73/78).

This updated material may be of interest to persons involved with the operation or inspection of shipboard pollution prevention equipment. It may also provide insight to those individuals associated with the investigation of pollution events originating in the machinery spaces of commercial vessels. This info is being provided for informational purposes only and any questions should be directed to Ken Olsen, Office of Investigations and Analysis, USCG HQ, phone: 202-267-1417.

The policy guidance provides comprehensive examination and testing procedures for USCG PSCO’s when conducting Port State Control examinations. The USCG is authorized and required by the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships to implement the provisions of MARPOL Annex I. Intentional discharges of oil contaminated bilge water and sludge are a direct contravention of the MARPOL Convention. These unlawful practices are a significant threat to the marine environment.

This updated guidance is also intended to promote consistent enforcement of MARPOL Annex I with the USCG’s international partners. The updated policy letter is on the USCG’s Web site: http://www.uscg.mil/hq/g-m/moc/docs.htm Questions regarding the policy may be directed to Lt. Ryan Allain of the USCG’s Office of Vessel Activities, Foreign and Offshore Vessels Division, at 202-267-2978 or rallain@comdt.uscg.mil.


FOREIGN SHIP HIT WITH $10 MILLION US POLLUTION FINE

Earlier this week, MSC Ship Management Limited, a Hong Kong-based container ship company, pled guilty and was sentenced to pay a $10 million criminal fine after admitting to engaging in conspiracy, obstruction of justice, destruction of evidence, false statements and violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships.

According to the Department of Justice, this is the largest fine involving a single vessel charged with deliberate pollution and the largest criminal fine paid by a defendant in an environmental case in Massachusetts history. The fine was imposed at a joint plea and sentencing hearing held on Feb.2 in Boston.

The container shipping company was also ordered to pay an additional $500,000 for a community service project administered by the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, which will provide environmental education to mariners visiting or sailing from Massachusetts ports and inform them how to report environmental crimes to the USCG.

“Deliberate pollution from vessels is a serious and recurrent problem that threatens the state of our oceans,”
said Sue Ellen Wooldridge, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources
Division. “The sentence imposed today is significant because it sends the message that we will seek increasingly tougher penalties for those in the maritime industry who continue to pollute.”

MSC Ship Management admitted to charges filed by the Department of Justice that a specially-fitted steel pipe, referred to as the “magic pipe”, was used on the MSC ELENA, a 30,971-ton container ship, to circumvent required ship pollution prevention equipment and discharge oil sludge and oil contaminated waste directly overboard. Upon the discovery of this bypass equipment during a USCG inspection in Boston Harbor on May 16, 2005, senior company officials in Hong Kong directed crewmembers to lie to the USCG. Additionally, senior ship engineers ordered that documents be destroyed and concealed.

Michael Sullivan, United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts said, “Our hope is that this substantial fine will send a strong message to those in the maritime community who might try to circumvent our nation’s anti-pollution laws. It is necessary to ensure that the consequences are significant, and that companies realize that violating our environmental laws will be taken seriously and will ultimately cost them more than legally disposing of the waste.”


OIL TANKER AGROUND IN ALASKA’S COOK INLET

According to news reports, an oil tanker being loaded with product broke free from its dock in Alaska’s Cook Inlet and ran aground on Feb.2. The 575-foot SEABULK PRIDE was moored in the Port of Nikiski, southwest of Anchorage, when it broke free overnight, possibly after an ice buildup strained the lines holding it, said USCG Petty Officer Steve Harrison. There were no reports of injuries.

Harrison said the USCG received the report around 0600 hrs. It was not immediately known how long the tanker drifted before she grounded. Tugboats were headed to the area to assist the ship, he said. Officials at the refinery where the SEABULK was being loaded believe the ship was struck by an ice floe before it broke free. Some gas and oil was released into Cook Inlet, although officials did not know how much leaked into the water.

It wasn’t immediately clear if the gas and oil came from the refinery’s fuel lines when the ship broke free or if the ship was damaged. According to the company’s Web site, the SEABULK PRIDE is a double-hulled petroleum tanker with a carrying capacity of 342,000 barrels of oil that is owned by Seabulk Tankers of Fort Lauderdale, FL.


EXXON VALDEZ JUDGMENT RETURNS TO APPEALS COURT

When it comes to pollution from tankers, the EXXON VALDEZ spill was one of the largest contamination incidents to ever hit US shores. While it has been 17 years since the EXXON VALDEZ hit Bligh Reef spilling 232,000 barrels of crude oil into Prince Williams Sound, a $5 billion judgment against the company is still tied up in the federal court of appeals.

This week, the appeals court will once again deal with the case. The appeal stems from an Anchorage jury’s award of punitive damages to 34,000 fishermen and Alaskan natives deemed injured by the spill. The jury found that Exxon and the ship’s master, Capt. Joseph Hazelwood, were reckless and responsible for the accident, in part because he was below deck when the tanker hit the well-marked reef. Over 1,500 miles of Alaskan coastline was damaged as a result of the massive oil spill.

Exxon has long argued that it spent more than $3 billion to settle federal and state lawsuits and for cleanup operations and should pay no more than $25 million in punitive damages. In two previous appeals, the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals ordered US District Judge H. Russell Holland of Anchorage to reduce the judgment against Exxon, saying it was excessive. The judgement was eventually reduced to $4.5 billion plus interest.


EXXON MOBIL PROFITS ARE A STAGGERING $36 BILLION FOR 2005

Exxon Mobil has posted a profit of $36 billion on sales of $371 billion for 2005, making it the best year ever for the company. According to Standard & Poors, the oil company’s profits are the largest ever posted by a US company. The record profit has pleased shareholders, but has angered many consumers.

The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) issued a statement claiming Exxon Mobil profited unfairly from hurricanes Katrina and Rita. “No oil company should be allowed to reap world record profits from one of the nation’s worst natural disasters,” FTRC President Jamie Court said.

Exxon Mobil has defended its profits, stating in part that they are not out of line with other industries. Oil and natural gas companies, on an average, earn 8.2 cents for every dollar of sales. Other industries, such as software, semiconductors, banking, and biotechnology companies, make more money on every dollar sold. The company’s 2005 profits are up 42 percent over 2004. If Exxon Mobil were a country, it would rank among the world’s top 30 economies, ahead of more than 200 nations, including Saudi Arabia, Switzerland and Hong Kong.


TERRORIST WEB SITE CALLS FOR ALASKAN OIL ATTACKS

With the EXXON VALDEZ accident once again in the news, we are reminded that a major incident at one of Alaska’s oil production or transportation facilities could cause widespread devastation. Now we learn that a Web site with ties to “al Qaeda” is calling for attacks on oil and gas facilities in Alaska, according to SITE, a nonprofit organization that monitors Muslim jihad activities.

According to media accounts, the 12-page report on the Web site provided detailed Internet links to maps and info about the Alyeska Pipeline and Port Valdez, where tankers load North Slope crude, according to Rita Katz, Director of SITE. “This is part of the economic attack on the American economy called for by Ayman al-Zawahri,” said Katz, referring to al Qaeda’s second-in-command.

In a related development, last week a new audio tape surfaced that has been attributed to Osama bin Laden. On the tape, bin Laden said that al Qaeda was preparing new attacks inside the US. The terrorist Web site contains info on oil production and reserves in Alaska, Texas, Louisiana, California, and Oklahoma, SITE said.

 


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

CLASS OPENINGS: Between January and the end of April 2006, seats are available in the following courses:

ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 2/13, 3/20, 4/3
AZIPOD-KAM – Azipod and Kamewa Steering and Propulsion Systems: 3/14

BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 2/13
BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 2/8
BST – Basic Safety Training: 3/6, 4/24

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-CHS I – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 1): 2/20, 3/20
CMM-CHS II – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 2/27, 3/27
CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display and Info Systems: 3/20
CMM-ADVSTAB – Advanced Stability: 3/6, 4/3
CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 3/13, 4/24
CMM-SHMGT I – Ship Management (week 1): 2/6
CMM-SHMGT II – Ship Management (week 2): 2/13
CMM-SHS-ADV-II – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 2/13
CMM-VPEN – Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 3/27
CMM-WKP – Watchkeeping: 2/20, 3/13, 4/10

CONT-PLNG – Contingency Planning: 2/10, 3/24

FF-BADV – Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting: 3/6, 4/24

HAZ-Hazardous Materials (5-day): 3/27, 4/10

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 2/8

MEDIA-RSP – Media Response: 2/9, 3/23
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 2/11, 3/18, 4/22
MED-PIC – Medical Person-In-Charge: 3/13, 4/17
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 3/13, 4/17


[MSC – Military Sealift Command]
MSC-SMA – Small Arms (4-day): 4/24
MSC-SMA-R – Small Arms Re-Qualification (2-day): 4/28 (must have proof of passing all 3 weapons within 2 years)

ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal (5-day): 3/27
ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 2/8, 2/13, 3/8, 3/20, 4/3

SEC-OFF-VCF – Security Officer, Vessel, Company & Facility: 2/6, 3/20
SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 4/10
SHS-EMR-Emergency Shiphandling: 2/20, 3/27

TPIC – Tankerman Person-In-Charge: 2/13, 4/10


Check the MITAGS website at www.mitags.org for course descriptions associated with the course title abbreviations, and schedule revisions. For class availability or info on MITAGS courses and programs, contact admissions toll-free at 866-656-5568 or Email: admissions@mitags.org.


PMI ACADEMIC NOTES

Winter – Summer 2006

February 2006

2/6-10 BST
2/6-9 Lifeboat/Survival Craft
2/6-10 ARPA
2/6 Radar Renewal
2/13-17 ENAV
2/20-3/3 CNAV
2/20-3/3 Advanced Shiphandling
2/20-3/4 100 Ton OUPV
2/27-3/3 Tankerman Person-In-Charge
2/27-3/3 ARPA
2/27 Radar Renewal

March 2006

3/6-10 BST
3/6-9 Lifeboat/Survival Craft
3/6-10 Basic Meteorology
3/6-18 100 Ton OUPV
3/13-24 GMDSS
3/13-17 CONSTB
3/20-24 CHS BAS
3/27-31 MEDPRO
3/27-31 ARPA
3/27 Radar Renewal
3/27-4/7 MEDPIC

April 2006
4/3-4 Search and Rescue
4/5-7 Emergency Procedures
4/3-7 BST
4/4-7 Survival Craft (Lifeboatman)
4/10-14 ECDIS
4/10-14 Radar Observer Unlimited
4/10-14 AB
4/10-21 GMDSS
4/17-21 ARPA
4/17 Radar Renew
4/17-21 Basic Shiphandling
4/24-5/5 Watchkeeping (BRM Inc.)

May 2006
5/1-3 BRM
5/1-5 Tankerman Person-In-Charge
5/2-5 Survival Craft (Lifeboatman)
5/8-12 Basic Shiphandling
5/8-12 BST
5/8-12 AB
5/8-19 GMDSS
5/8-20 100 Ton OUPV
5/15-19 MEDPRO
5/15-26 MEDPIC
5/22 Flashing Light

June 2006
6/5-9 ECDIS
6/5-9 ARPA
6/5-9 BST
6/6-9 Survival Craft (Lifeboatman)
6/5-23 TCNAV/CO
6/19-23 Tankerman Person-In-Charge
6/19-30 GMDSS
6/26-30 Radar Observer Unlimited
6/26-30 Basic Shiphandling

For registration call Jennifer Fowler 888-893-7829

PMI MERCHANDISE FOR SALE!!!

High quality with embroidered PMI logo.
Navy or Khaki Hats : $16 / includes tax
———————————-
Button Down Long Sleeve Dress Shirts
Blue or Khaki: $38 / includes tax
———————————-
Pocket t-shirts with Logo: $12 / includes tax
————————————
15oz. Cobalt Blue Ceramic Mug: $8 / includes tax

Call DeeDee Lazik 206-838-8328 or e-mail dlazik@mates.org.


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 2-1

 

 D O W  N A S D A Q  S & P 500
10,953.95 +244.42 for the week 2,310.56 +49.91 for the week 1,282.46 +18.15 for the week

 

Fund Name & Trading Symbol
Closing
Price
Change
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
118.19
+1.66
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
36.53
+.74
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
22.51
+.54
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
18.49
+.34
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
32.08
+.32
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.28
-.04
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund (VWEHX)
6.19
NC
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.00
-.04
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
20.20
+.32
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
16.31
+.14
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
35.31
+.61
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
118.18
+1.98
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
21.27
+.71
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
79.65
+1.05
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX) 45.42 +.64
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
30.63
+.41

 






~ Reminders ~





 

T-AGS OCEANOGRAPHIC SURVEY SHIPS MANNING REQUIREMENTS

REQUIRED COURSEWORK

All MM&P members are reminded that to sail aboard the T-AGS ships that MM&P-contracted Horizon Lines will be operating, you must have the required training certification and your certificates must be current in accordance with Military Sealift Command requirements. Members are also required to have had a MSC pre-employment physical and to possess Ship Security Clearance (see below).

The MSC Contract calls for all training certificates required for manning of these vessels to be no older than 5 years and that all STCW-95 courses be renewed every 5 years, or annually, as applicable.

Five-year renewable courses include, but are not limited to:

  • Advanced Fire Fighting
  • Basic Safety Training, and
  • Damage Control

Small Arms certificates must be less than 1 year old and MUST NOT expire during your tour of duty.

Members interested in applying for one of the positions onboard the T-AGS vessels are advised to make sure your certificates are up to date. If not, contact Mary Matlock or Diane Ford at MITAGS Admissions, email: admissions@mitags.org, and schedule to take the course(s) needed.

Those MM&P members interested in obtaining more information and facts about the T-AGS Oceanographic Vessels are asked to email the Director of Special Projects requesting the “facts sheet”. It will be provided by return email in an Adobe Acrobat PDF format.

Members interested in employment on the T-AGS ships are asked to provide a 1-2 page resume. Please list the desired position you are seeking along with the certificates of training you possess and their dates. Upon receipt it will be forwarded to Horizon Lines and a confirmation sent back to the member. Vessel turnover commenced Oct.17, 2004. Positions for all ratings remain open.

The point of contact for sending a resume for employment on the Horizon Lines T-AGS Oceanographic Vessels is Richard Plant, MM&P’s Director of Special Projects. Send resumes in an email or as a Word file attachment to him at: rplant@bridgedeck.org, by fax to 410-850-0973 or by mail to:

Richard Plant, Director of Special Projects

IOMM&P
700 Maritime Blvd.
Linthicum Heights, MD 21090



SHIP SECURITY CLEARANCE NEEDED

Members who want to sail for Horizon Lines on the T-AGS Oceanographic Survey vessels the company is set to begin operating for MSC must have Ship Security Clearance before going aboard.

Special software must be downloaded from the US Government’s Defense Security Service to complete the Security Clearance application. You must have an Internet connection and a Windows-based computer to retrieve the application and run the program.

Go to https://sclient.dss.mil/download/w9xfull.htm to download the software titled “EPSQ SUBJECT2_2”.

After the software is installed and the program is launched, select “Create” from the menu bar at the top of the screen. You will be required to enter your Social Security Number and a case-sensitive password. A window titled “Type of Form” will appear.

All Deck Officers should select the first button titled “Request for Security Clearance (SF86)” and then click “OK” to go to the next screen, “Type of Investigation”.

From the “Type of Investigation” screen:

  • Masters and Radio Officers should select the first button, “Single Scope Background Investigation (SSBI)”.
  • All other Deck Officers (C/M, 2/M, 3/M) should click on the second button, “National Agency Check (NAC or NACLC)”.

After selecting the appropriate investigation type, click on “OK” to begin filling in the forms.

 



MSC PHYSICALS

Horizon Lines requests all mariners seeking employment aboard the T-AGS Oceanographic vessels to take their MSC Physical at specially-designated facilities only after being advised to do so by the Company. This is to assure that all requirements of the MSC Physical are properly met.

 


MM&P FCU NEWS

GET NEW WHEELS OR LOWER EXISTING PAYMENTS WITH MM&P FCU VEHICLE FINANCING

Is it time to replace that car you’re driving? Vehicle loan rates are looking great at MM&P FCU.

Drive away in a new or used vehicle for a standard loan rate of:

4.75 percent for terms up to 24 months.
Standard loan rates for longer-term loans are:

5.00 percent for 25-48 months;
5.75 percent for 49-60 months ($20,000 minimum); and
6.25 percent for terms extending from 61-72 months ($25,000 minimum).
You can lower your loan rate even more — by 0.75 percent — by becoming a Preferred Borrower.

Are you paying a higher rate on your current vehicle loan at another institution? Consider refinancing your outside loan at the MM&P FCU and taking advantage of our lower loan rates.

MM&P FCU will finance up to 100 percent of your new vehicle loan, and up to 90 percent of NADA Book Value on a used vehicle. Maximum vehicle loan amount is $30,000.

PREFERRED BORROWERS GET LOWER LOAN RATES
MM&P FCU members can reduce the interest rate they pay on any new loan even further by becoming a preferred borrower. What is a preferred borrower? That’s a member who deposits at least 10 percent of the original loan amount into their MM&P FCU savings account and keeps those funds on deposit until the loan is paid in full. By doing this you save twice – first, your deposit works for you by earning our regular dividend savings rate, and second, you save money by reducing the interest rate on your loan by 0.75 percent.

Contact the MM&P FCU for full details on all loan programs by email to mmpfcu@bridgedeck.org or call 1-800-382-7777 toll-free.



 

MM&P HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN NEWS

NOTICE TO MEMBERS WHO ARE TAKING VIOXX

On Sept.30, Merck & Co. voluntarily withdrew Vioxx, a popular anti-inflammatory medication, from the market. As a result, individuals who are currently taking the drug have been asked to contact their health care professionals to discuss discontinuing use of Vioxx and possible alternative treatments.

MM&P Plans Administrator Valerie Verrecchio reports that, “We have gotten a number of calls from members who want to know what to do with their remaining supply of Vioxx and whether the Plan or NMHC will refund their co-pay for the unused portion.

“Unfortunately, neither NMHC nor the Plan was aware of the Merck decision prior to the public announcement on Sept.30. As of that date, all deliveries of Vioxx to our members was suspended in accordance with Merck’s announcement. Orders that had already been processed and were in transit could not be stopped.

“In regard to refunds, Merck has set up a website at www.vioxx.com where members can obtain information on how to recover refunds from Merck for the unused portion of medication. Members can also call following toll free number for information: 1-888-368-4699.

“We are sorry for any inc onvenience this may have caused to members currently taking this medication, however, the matter is out of the control of the Plans.”



NMHC MAIL-ORDER PRESCRIPTIONS WEBSITE UPDATED & IMPROVED

MM&P Plans Administrator Valerie Verrecchio reports, “Good news! NMHC mail has finally gotten their website upgraded and functioning properly. I went in and tested it myself and found it to be quite user friendly.”

To use NMHC’s upgraded service, go to the NMHC Mail website at www.nmhcmail.com and click on “MEMBER LOGIN” at the bottom of the screen.

First-time and Registered users may bypass the welcome screen and go directly to the log-in page at https://members.nmhcrx.com/Login/Login.aspx.

  • First-time users should then click on the link marked “NEW USER: REGISTER HERE”.
    This will take you to a page titled “MEMBER REGISTRATION” where you will need to enter demographic information and submit it by clicking on the
  • “CREATE ACCOUNT” button.

After creating your account, NMHC will email you a password to gain entry into your records. With your first sign-in, the NMHC system will prompt you to change the NMHC password to one of your own choosing.

Once you are registered at NMHC, you can check the status of open orders by logging-in to the system through the “MEMBER LOGIN” page and going into the “MAIL ORDER” menu. You can look up all prescriptions and get the price our members will pay for any medication. You can also view an order history of all of your medication transactions (both retail and mail) for the last 24 months, locate 24-hour pharmacies in your zip code region as well as access other helpful member education information.

“We hope this welcome improvement will assist our members. Although you cannot order refills on line if you don’t provide a credit or debit card number, you can phone in your refill. Once you register on the website, you will still have access to all of the other information including checking the status of your order once it is phoned in,” said Ms. Verrecchio.



WWII USCG VETERANS OUTREACH

The U.S. Coast Guard has announced an initiative to identify and collect the oral histories of its World War II veterans. Coast Guard WWII veterans, including SPARS and merchant mariners, are encouraged to record their histories online with the Library of Congress Veterans History Project at www.loc.gov/folklife/vets.

Those veterans needing assistance in recording their stories can receive help from their local Coast Guard Auxiliary public affairs contact by leaving a message at 1-877-875-6296, a toll-free call.




 

COMPANY GIVES BUCKS BACK FOR BUYING SAFE SHOES

LMS Ship Management, the company that manages vessels for Central Gulf, Sulphur Carriers and Waterman Steamship, wants to remind MM&P members that they offer their crewmembers a $75 reimbursement on the cost of purchasing certain slip-resistant shoes and boots for use aboard ship.

This offer has been in place for some time and LMS reports that “we have been pleased with the participation to date, but feel a reminder may be in order.” Their goal is for every crewmember to wear slip resistant footwear during working hours aboard their vessels.

The $75 reimbursement is available to each crewmember who provides LMS with an original receipt for the purchase of slip resistant footwear. In order for the crewmember to obtain the reimbursement, they must wear the shoes while on duty. Upon presentation of the receipt, the crewmember will be reimbursed on their pay voucher. The receipt will be retained by the Master and will remain aboard the vessel.
 
 

Vessels in the LMS footwear reimbursement program are:

  • Green Cove
  • Green Dale
  • Green Lake
  • Green Point
  • Atlantic Forest
  • Sulphur Enterprise
  • Energy Enterprise
  • SGT Matej C. Kocak
  • MAJ Stephen W. Pless, and
  • PFC Eugene A. Obregon

LMS notes that in order to receive reimbursement, crewmembers must purchase one of the following recommended brands:

  • WORX by Red Wing Slip Resistant Footwear
  • Caterpillar (must have steel toe & slip resistant sole)
  • Wolverine (must have steel toe and slip resistant sole)
  • Dunham Sierra Work Boot EH
  • Steel Toe Voyager
  • Georgia Boot 6- or 8-inch Safety Toe Boot
  • Dr. Marten’s (must have steel toe & slip resistant sole)

LOOK FOR THE UNION LABEL:

Of the boots listed above, Red Wing, Caterpillar and Wolverine boots are produced by US union labor.

Redwing’s Union-made products are: Red Wing shoes and boots, Red Wing motorcycle boots and Craftsman (Sears).

Wolverine World Wide manufactures boots under the Caterpillar brand using US union labor. (Other union made safety-shoe brands by Wolverine are the company’s Hy-Test, Durashock and Bates Military labels. The company’s Wolverine brand combat boots are also produced using US union labor.)

Most Dr. Marten’s shoes and boots are produced in the UK.

To find US, union-made products, visit the AFL-CIO Union Label Service and Trades website at www.unionlabel.org and click on “Union Made Product Search”. To shop for union-made products online, go to www.ShopUnionMade.org.




 

WEBSITE OFFERS UNION-MADE GOODS AND SERVICES

The Union Label recently went digital with a new website offering shoppers an array of union-made gifts, from clothing and chocolates to computers, games and greeting cards.

The website, www.shopunionmade.org, launches on the eve of the fall and winter holidays, when shoppers will spend an estimated $1 trillion on gifts, food, drinks and other seasonal items, explained Matt Bates, Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO Union Label & Service Trades Department. The all-union shopping site, however, will be a year-round operation because that is what consumers demand, he added.

“Shoppers spent $56 billion in Internet sales last year, and on-line spending is doubling every two to three years. Everyday we receive Email and calls from people who want to support good jobs by buying union-made goods and services. The website will reach millions of people, 24 hours a day, with a quick convenient way to shop union,” Bates said.

“The public is ready for this. People have seen millions of good jobs disappear and they are looking for ways to take a stand and make a difference,” he added.

The AFL-CIO will target the peak of the holiday shopping season by promoting “Buy Union Week” Nov. 26 through Dec. 5. The newly-launched, all-union shopping site will be a cornerstone of that campaign. MM&P has a link to the Shop Union Site on this website under “Links and Other Sources”.



The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates, and Pilots, ILA, AFL-CIO, 700 Maritime Blvd., Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1941. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: iommp@bridgedeck.org. For further info or to subscribe contact John Peige at jpeige@bridgedeck.org. The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea, broadcast worldwide via FEC marine telex and is posted on our web page.